Tag Archives: Love

Surprising Health Benefits Of A Wedding

 

A bride and groom with their hands interlocking into the shape of two hearts

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You get married for one thing, right? Yep, everyone gets hitched because they have met the person of their dreams. So, all the stress and hassle of planning a wedding, it’s worth it when you get to say “I do.”

 

Well, it turns out there is one more reason to walk down the aisle: your health. Although it doesn’t feel this way, a wedding is an excellent way to boost fitness and well-being. Couples who tie the knot, according to studies, tend to be fitter and healthier than their counterparts.

 

Here are some of the reasons why this is the case.

Lower Stress Levels

Okay, so getting married can be a stressful and demanding time of your life. However, a study by the University of Chicago found that cortisol levels in married couples are lower than singletons. For those who don’t know, cortisol is the hormone which regulates stress. Too much of it in the body and the levels will rise and you will feel the adverse effects. Apparently, having a bond with a person, as well as a sounding board, is an excellent way to deal with other pressures in a person’s life. Considering healthline.com say stress is a killer, this is something to celebrate. Who’s got the second bouquet?

 

Get More Sleep

The majority of people would think that a wedding wouldn’t affect sleep. Indeed, having someone sleeping beside you is worse! However, Wendy Troxel found that married couples are better off in the sleep stakes. When a person is happy and content, they sleep through the night. So, a happy marriage is a vehicle for people, particularly women, to get 40 winks and the rest. Seen as sleep helps regenerate cells, repair muscle tissue, and improve a person’s mood, it’s an important part of everyday life. Just make sure you don’t interrupt your eight hours a night with too much hanky panky!

 

Reduced Health Costs

Healthcare is costly, and the price is enough to exclude some people from having coverage. Even those with a policy might not be able to afford a comprehensive one. This doesn’t apply to married couples. According to csmonitor.com, it is cheaper for married couples because they can combine their plans. A quick look on healthinsurancequotes.co will show this to be true. How does this help people’s health? Well, a comprehensive policy covers more ailments and helps people recover more quickly. When a person has a quality healthcare plan, they are likely to get better.

 

Live Longer

Last but not least, it’s longevity. At the moment, the rest of your life is a long way away. But, studies show that married couples tend to last the test of time. Not to be morbid, but Ilene Siegler says that unmarried people are more than twice as likely to die early. Apparently, the changes in marital status in midlife affect health risks for the better for those in a marriage. So, the big day is an investment for the rest of your days. How romantic!

 

When you look into your partner’s eye, remember that a wedding is about more than love.

Hire or buy your wedding suit?

Your beautiful wife to be has found the dress, the shoes and even the jewellery to match, but you still haven’t even Googled wedding suits.

So where do you start?
It’s your day too so you want to look and feel as dapper as possible yet you are still unsure whether to hire or buy your wedding suit.

First things first,ask yourself these 3 questions below, and you’ll be on the path towards making a decision.
1. What’s my Budget? If you are on a limited budget then you’ll most likely need to opt for hiring a suit.
2. How much time do I have? Tailoring a made-to-measure suit takes time so make sure you ask all the necessary questions before deciding.
3. Do I want to keep the suit? Keeping your suit is not like keeping a wedding gown. You will no doubt find many instances in which you will be able to wear it again. If this appeals to you then having a suit made to measure may be an option.

By now you may have an idea but just encase, I’ve put together a handy list of the pros and cons of hiring or buying your wedding suit.

Hiring your wedding suit.
Pros:

  •  If you’re on a tight budget it’s a great way to get a smart suit that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Hiring your wedding suit is a popular option because you can wear designer brands without paying the hefty price tag.
  • If you’re getting married abroad and will have no use for a white linen suit when you get home it may be the sensible option.
  • If you are opting for a morning suit, it is unlikely you’ll have the chance to wear it again, so save your pennies and put it towards your honeymoon fund.
  • If you want to match your ushers, hiring all of your suits together can usually be done at a reduced cost.
  • If you lose or gain weight before the big day and your suit isn’t sitting right you can return it and get one that fits better with little to no fuss.
  • Dry cleaning fees are part of your hiring cost so you don’t have to spend extra money after the wedding getting it cleaned before you return it.

    Cons:

  • Your wife will keep her dress, but if you hire your suit, you will have no keepsake to look back on in 20 years.
  • If you are the sentimental type, you cannot pass down your suit to future generations.
  • You cannot guarantee that your grooms party will fit the select sizes in hiring suit shops.
  • Someone has to be in charge of returning all the suits after the big day, usually this is just a day or 2 after the wedding itself, you don’t want to be thinking of returning everything when you’re a hungover mess.
  • If the suit is damaged you will have to pay for it unless you have paid a damage waiver.

Buying a wedding suit
Pros:

  • You’ll get to own a fab smart suit you can wear time and again, at weddings, christenings and even funerals. Totally worth the money compared to your wife’s ornament. 😉
  • Having a suit made specially to fit is a total luxury, and if you can’t afford to splash out on your big day, when can you?
  • A tailored suit can be made to hide any areas you are self-conscious of such as wide shoulders or a large belly and can even make you look taller and slimmer.
  • You can try your suit on 10-15 years down the line and laugh at how married life has made you blissfully unaware of your expanding waistline! 😉
  • High street brands and online stores know that weddings are very expensive so they are now creating wedding wear that is both stylish and affordable.

Cons:

  •  It’s not a cheap option. A bespoke suit – made for you totally from scratch – can set you back at least £1000. A suit that has been tailored to fit can cost anything from £500 upwards.
  • 
It costs you time as well as money, there will be several fittings needed over the course of your suit being made.
  • Unless you buy the same suits for your best man and the ushers you may have to put up with not matching.
  • Accidents can happen and if your suit gets damaged in any way before the big day, you will need to fork out for it to be fixed and in extreme cases to be measured for a new suit.

Gary has decided that he wants a made to measure suit for our wedding. It’s an investment piece as well as a keep sake if nostalgia hits.

We were very lucky to be gifted this gorgeous suit from Dobell, Doesn’t it look sleek and sexy?

Front shot of Gary in the suit from shoulders down

Gary’s thoughts:

The suit fit comfortably the jacket wasn’t tight across the chest or back I felt I could move freely without it feeling too baggy. The style of the suit was excellent it could be used on multiple occasions, not just for a wedding. Possibly for a casual work suit or just a night out. The quality of the fabric and design of the suit makes this possible. The thing I like about suit trousers compared to a normal smart trouser is that they feel lighter and thinner making it easier for my legs to “breathe” and avoid getting too hot, these trousers were perfect for me as they felt super light on my legs and kept me from overheating. For me this was an excellent suit all round it was well made and fit me very well.
As Sassy stated before: I am looking to get a tailored made suit for the wedding but that’s only because I’ve never had one before and want to look my best on our big day and then I get to keep a nice well fitting suit. Depending on the style of suit you are having for an event will determine if you want to buy or rent, I would personally only buy a suit if I could use it more than once as they can be a lot of money.

Forward shot of Gary's suit jacket Full length side view of Gary in his suit

 

I hope this post has given you some useful information about hiring or buying your wedding suit.
Always remember to do your homework and shop around.There may be discounts or sales on, both online and in store, don’t just go for the first place you look at.
Happy hunting! 🙂

*This is a collaborative post with Dobell but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

20 Ways To Save Money on Your Wedding

With the average cost of a British wedding measuring a whopping £25,000 it’s no wonder people are searching for cheaper alternatives or budget tips.

For those savvy savers, or just looking for ideas to help cut costs i’ve compiled a list of tips to help you stretch your money a little further.

Get married on a different time of the week/ year.

If you get married on a weekday, or in Winter you can save anything from 1/3 to 1/2 off your bill.

Create a wedding website.

There are so many great wedding websites out there, which you can completely customise to suit your theme and personality.
This can save you a ton of money as well as being good for the environment.

Don’t get married in the traditional places.

Unless your heart is set on a church or hotel wedding, opt for local places you can hire and make your own.
Hire a farmers field and have an outdoor wedding.

Hold the ceremony and reception in the same place.

This can save you money on transport as well as stress.
Hosting the big day at a hotel or country house means you don’t have to organise transport and sleeping arrangements could also be included in the price.

Ask a friend/ family to be master of ceremonies.

If you want to make your ceremony more unique, ask a person you care for who is not shy with public speaking to say a few words.
This would not make the marriage legal, so you would have to get legally married either before or after your big day, this again could save you money because your are not paying extra for registry / minister fees.



 

Don’t mention the W word.

Whether you are doing your research online, on the phone or in person, do not mention to vendors that it is for a wedding when you are seeking a cost analysis.
Tell them it’s for a celebration or party, and once a price has been given, explain that it is for a wedding,

Only invite immediate family and friends.

This is definitely a tough one, especially if you both have large families,but weddings are expensive and the food per head is usually a large chunk of your budget.
Don’t invite colleagues, neighbours and distant relatives, this can definitely help trim the guest list down.

Ask wedding guests for their time/ talents as wedding gifts.

Does your nan fancy herself as a florist? Ask her to do your centrepieces.
Is your best friend a keen baker? Ask her to make your wedding cake.
A cousin who can keep a crowd laughing? Ask him to do a 15 minute set to entertain your guests?
There are so many possibilities if you tap into a persons’ creative side, plus, more often than not, people love to be involved and help in any way they can.

Use a credit card for payments.

There are plenty of credit cards out there that can give you up to 5% cash back on purchases You need to pay it off in full every month or you’ll get charged massive interest.
Credit cards are also great because under section 75 of the consumers act, if you pay for an item on your credit card and the item is damaged or faulty, the credit card company is jointly liable and protects you as a consumer.

Buy from the high street or rent.

These days there are some beautiful wedding dresses, morning suits and accessories for a fraction a the price.
High streets realised there is a market for good quality but affordable wedding wear, such as  Debenhams and Asos so you will be sure to find something for a fraction of the wedding industry price.

You can choose to hire suits and this can definitely slash the cost instead of buying outright.

There are also great second hand alternatives such as, Preloved and Sell my Dress and in a lot of cases the dress was purchased but never worn.

Alternatively ask for your party to buy/ wear their own.This may make you feel uncomfortable but if you are trying to save money that can be a great option.
Giving your wedding party an outline of what colour scheme you are going for and giving them free reign to choose their own outfit can make the wedding more personal and relaxed.



Use a courier service to transport your goods.

Whether it’s UK based or even further afield, you may not have the time or budget to collect a bespoke ornament or wooden decorations.This is where Shipley comes in handy, they safely deliver your purchase, using already loaded but not full cargo. They use all available space and resources instead of sending drivers to do one drop off.
This saves the environment and can save you a lot of money too!

Buy your own alcohol.

Depending on where you choose to get married, there may be a corkage fee on your venue.
However if you are staying away from traditional norms and holding your wedding in a village hall, alcohol will be up to you to provide.
A booze run to France can certainly save you some pennies.

Make DIY bunting/ confetti/favours.

If you and your significant other are crafty and also wanting to cut costs, creating your own bunting, confetti and favours can save you a lot of money.
Places such as hobby craft are great for inspiration as well as getting all the materials you could need to create your own special touch to the day.

Don’t hire a photographer/ videographer.

If you have a budding photographer in the family, ask them to take snapshots of your special day.
Likewise ask friends and family who are attending the wedding to take photos and upload them to your wedding website after the big day.
Not only will you have a keepsake but you’ll probably have some candid shots that a professional may not catch.

Don’t hire a DJ or a band.

The price of music/ entertainment for a wedding can be enormous, remember the W word?
If you have musically talented friends or family, ask them to perform, it will make the day more intimate and save your bank balance.

Create your own playlists.

If you want to go super savvy, but not lose out on keeping the party going. Creating a playlist on Spotify can get you and your significant other to put together a list of your favourite songs, again making the day become personal and intimate.
Likewise, if you don’t want to do the legwork, or you and your S.O, have different tastes in music ask your guest to pick a song they like, that everyone can dance to.
This will make your guest feel more involved and take some of the strain off of the two of you.

Don’t hire transport.

If you are holding your ceremony and reception in the same place, that alone can save you money, because you don’t have to pay for transport for you and your guests.
If your ceremony and reception are within walking distance, why not take that stroll with your guests to the venue, it’ll give them a chance to mingle and get to know one another, and give you and your other half time to soak up the atmosphere.
Another option is car sharing, if the reception is close by, you could have a bunch of designated drivers to take your wedding party, just make sure to stick some pretty ribbon to the cars so your guests know it’s the right car.

Buy flowers at local markets.

If you want to save money on a florist, and don’t have any green fingered relatives or friends, going to your local flower market a day or 2 before your big day can be a way to give something back to your local community, as well as getting some gorgeous flowers at a very reasonable price.
The only drawbacks would be, needing to arrange the flowers for your party and reception yourself. as well as getting flowers that are in season and at the market at the time.

Serve wedding cake as pudding.

This is a brilliant idea. By the time you have eaten your share of food, guests are generally too full to eat any cake.
Even if you wrap it up, guests can still leave it behind in their tired or drunken state.
Serving it to your guests as pudding ensures it gets eaten and the bakers hard work has not gone to waste.

Create a honeymoon fund and ask guests to donate instead of giving presents.

As we are in the 21st century and most couples live together before they get married, the traditional registry list can be null in void.
Guests want to gift you with something, and if you have everything you need, asking for donations to your honeymoon fund, will mean less for you to save, and your guests feeling happy that they have contributed to something you truly want!



***
Remember your day is about you and your partner joining together in front of your nearest and dearest. Ultimately the decisions are up to you as a couple. Don’t let others influence you or make you feel bad for including, or not including specific things to your day.

Make sure to ask vendors upfront that if the price they are giving you includes VAT, otherwise this can come as a nasty shock looking at your bill.

Always get EVERYTHING in writing. This means you and your vendors have physical evidence of communication and can stop any disputes in their track.

And most importantly remember, have fun! It’s one day, and it’ll only be you that notices the little things.

*This is a sponsored post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Registered Bridezilla: The Proposal

I have an announcement to make… And no doubt judging by the title you have already put 2 and 2 together and come up with wedding bells:

yes that’s right, Gary and I are engaged!!

The proposal was relaxed, romantic and very Gary!

But i’m going to spoil the fantasy of grandure and the ultimate surprise…

I knew it was going to happen, in fact I practically forced Gary into it.

A table with multiple engagement cards

Now let’s just remind you of the title of this post!

So here’s our story: Gary and I, like many couples talked about our future, what we wanted out of life and our plans for that future together.
We have been saving for a house for the last year, and had decided that we would rather get married after we bought our home.

We have entered a help to buy scheme, which only allows you to put a certain amount of money in the account per month,although we are not desperate to move from our flat, we realised that it was going to take us a lot longer than we anticipated to physically save and get the extra support from the government.

So over this time the topic of marriage and weddings came about, which was thoroughly encouraged by Gary’s family.
“So when are you 2 going to get engaged?”
“I need anew wedding to look forward to.”

At this time we both explained that we would rather aim for owning our own home, but we probably would be engaged by the time we bought the house.

And the questions kept coming…
“Are you engaged yet.”
“Has Gary popped the question?”

And that was it for me.

I’m an extremely obsessive person, and my depression exacerbates that.
I dropped some, ok a lot of not so subtle hints, even asking Gary outright when he was going to propose.
Everything was met with love and a lot of sarcasm.
“Soon.”
“Soon when?”
“Tuesday.”
This went on for a few months before I demanded that I wanted to be married by the time i was 29, so Gary had 3 years to propose.

Yes, I am crazy!

And when Gary called me crazy, I would just respond with.

“Yes I am. Crazy in love with you!!”

And we carried on in this merry dance for a while longer.

But my depression and obsessive thoughts got the better of me. I started to believe that Gary didn’t want to marry me at all.
I started to ruminate on our previous conversations, fall outs and arguments and convinced myself that I was far too much hard work for Gary and of course he wasn’t going to commit to someone who causes arguments, and over reacts all of the time.

Gary started to notice my drop in communication and introspective attitude and urged me to talk to him.

We talked and I opened up,. Sharing my thoughts of his attitude towards marriage. Or what I thought they might be.

I was truly upset and Gary cuddled and reassured me that all the thoughts I had were my depression talking, and he explained that he wanted to marry me. but there was no rush. He loved me and he was building a life with me and Ida, and he was going nowhere.

I was comforted by his prisons, his words and his love.

It was about a week later when my depressive thoughts started to bombard me again.
They didn’t consume me as before, but I knew for my own piece of mind I had to speak with Gary again about marriage, and the proposal.

I breached the subject as we were laying in bed one night.
Gary was honest but hesitant and I knew there was something he wasn’t telling me.

I asked him out right, that aside from my depressive episodes and continuous chatting about marriage. Was he worried that if he proposed sooner rather than later, was he worry i’ll go into an obsessive frenzy and plan the wedding for as soon as possible?
And that’s what it was all about.
He was concerned that asking me to marry him would result in me obsessing and wanting to be married straight away.

I explained that my obsessive nature was always going to be there, and as I love to plan things, I would rope him into love wedding planning. But for me, it was about the security and knowledge that he wanted to be with me forever.
I explained that I would prefer a long engagement because it meant that I could take my time in organising things and asking for help.

And that’s when he and I fully understood each others thoughts and intentions.
I wanted him to propose for the peace of mind it would give my negative thoughts, not because I wanted to plan a wedding and be married by the next month.
Gary wanted to get married, but not straight away. His biggest concern was doing things wrong, and not getting the proposal right.

So now I’ve beaten him into submission, time to get that ring on my finger!! 🙂

I got a random text one day as i was hanging out with my friend:
“Get bigger fingers”
“I’ll try but I don’t think it’ll work.”

Cue the excited squeals of delight from Ellie and I!!

A few days later the 3 of us went shopping, Ellie and I decided to sit and wait while Gary went into a shop or 2 on his own.

10 minutes later…

“Can you come with me? The lady in the shop needs to talk to you.”
“ok…”
“So the lady in the shop doesn’t believe your ring finger size, she wants to measure it.”

Get’s ring finger measured, lady finally believes Gary.

“I think Gary is buying me an engagement ring!!”
“Exciting!! I thought that was the shop he went off to.”
Lots of smiles and hugs ensued!

“So the gift I bought you has a warranty of 3 years, so if you’re going to break it, do it in the timescale, ok?”

White gold ring,with purple amethyst and diamonds

Ring purchased, now to hint about asking my parents…

“Ok, are you going to ask my parents permission?”
No, what if they say no?”
“Just sing Rude by Magic to them, and run away.”
“Actually, they will probably pack my bags for you!”

This is mine and Gary’s sense of humour…

Time to hint a bit more.

“So, when you ask them, what are you going to say?”
“Do I have to ask them?”
“Yes!!”
“When are you going to do it?”
“The next time we are all going to be together is in a few weeks time. You should ask them then.”

We’re at a family wedding when Gary rushes up to me.

“I did it!”

Mother arrives.

“I hear congratulations are in order!!”
“For what?”
“Don’t play dumb, Gary has told us everything!!”

Lots of hugs, congratulations and champagne ensues!

“So, what did you say?”
“Well I asked them, and they said yes. I told them you forced me into proposing!”
“You did what?!”
“What did you do that for?! Now everyone will know i’m a psycho!”
“They know that anyway Sassy!”
“Plus, when I told your Dad, he just said you are your Mothers’ Daughter!”

We both laugh and drink Champagne.

Gary officially asked THE question just a few weeks later.

And, it was on a Thursday, not a Tuesday!

So there we are, our very unconventional and non romantic proposal story! I’m engaged to my Mr Perfect!

Are you engaged? How did your proposal happen?I’d love to know in the comments.

Much love,
Sassy x




To my first, and forever love

A letter to my first and forever love.

I call myself a blogger and yet here I am at a loss of how to put pen to paper so-to-speak.

There is no-one quite like you; fiercely loyal, utterly stubborn and hungry for knowledge.

It’s you Harry Potter.

You have been in my life for 20 years now and I know we will be friends until my dying day. The story may be about you, but it’s your journey of friendship, family, faith and hope that i’ve fallen in love with.

I’ve been a reader my entire life but no other story can intrigue, enthral and enrage me quite like you.
I remember the day I was introduced to your world.
At first a world of loneliness and resentment, and gradually a world full of warmth, happiness and comfort.
There were dark and terrible times ahead, just like life itself, but through compassion, solidarity, kindness and courage you fought your way through and came out triumphant.
You have taught me to appreciate who I am, and to ignore the negativity that comes with staying true to yourself.
You’ve taught me that looks can be deceiving and to never judge a book by it’s cover.
You’ve taught me that being bookish and brainy is the new beautiful.

Harry potter books in Order from left to right

You’ve taught me that being courageous doesn’t always mean fighting the biggest battles sometimes it’s about standing up for what is right.
I’ve learned that making mistakes is apart of life, but we have to learn to forgive others as quickly as we forgive ourselves.
I’ve learned that true friendship is worth more than what money could ever buy.
I’ve learnt that heartbreak is torturous and that loss is inevitable. But what i’ve learned the most is that love will always prevail. There is room in our hearts to love as many as we can, yet that love will never be lost just because someone is gone.

Harry's Wand infront of two candles and a wax melter

Harry Potter, you’ve been a source of comfort in the lonely days, a place where I can escape to, and a gentle reminder that hope can always be found.

7 books, 8 films and 20 years of my life that i’ve learnt, grown, adapted and survived:with you by my side.
My first, and forever love.

“Even after all this time?”

“Always,”




Friendship, Relationship, Love

Gary and Sassy cuddling together on a bench. photo taken from behind with a lighthouse off to the left.

I never thought i’d end up with Gary, in fact, neither of us ever thought it would happen…

We met at University when he joined in 2012, both my Uni housemates met him on nights out during Freshers week, at separate times, and before long he joined our friendship group.

He and I clicked straight away, and it was nice to have another male within the group. Gary wasn’t like a lot of the other Freshers, he wasn’t the biggest party goer and was mature for his age, which I think is why our friendship blossomed and the group felt so relaxed around him.

We hung out, texted, stayed at each others houses and gave each other relationship/ dating advice, it was plutonic. Our friends all joked and said if we ever lived together, we would get together, but we laughed it off and ignored their comments; we didn’t see each other like that.

And this is where the story gets interesting…

It was my housemates’ last year at Uni (it would have been mine too, but that is for another story), our lease was due to run out and I was frantically searching for a place to live as a singular student that I could afford, with no luck whatsoever, Gary and 3 of my other Uni friends had all agreed I could stay at theirs until I found a place, it’ll only be about a week I said, so i’ll be out of your hair in no time!

Gary and Sassy both laughing. Sassy with her hands covering her face and Gary stood behind her grinning

3 months went by before I finally found somewhere ! Needless to say Gary and I grew closer, spending more time together: hanging out, eating together, and because of my sight loss he even helped me go shopping. Being blind and moving to a new area takes a lot of mobility and energy to get where you want to be. I was most grateful for his support, friendship and sense of humour at that time!

It literally came from nowhere, one night we were playing drinking games, and when the others had left the room he randomly just kissed me.
I was in total shock, but for the strangest reason it just felt right…

Gary and I moved in together as a couple after his student lease ran out, and we’ve been attached at the hip ever since.

He’s been my rock, confidant and my best friend for as long as i’ve known him, it’s just intensified since being together. He has been at my side through the toughest 5 years of my life, 3 of which has been as my partner.

We are a very happy family unit, spending the majority of our weekends rambling and chasing our gorgeous pup Ida!
Currently we are saving for our first house and plan to move where his family live, although, we have made a happy life four ourselves here.
I can’t wait to start the next chapter of our relationship and eventually be his Wife! ❤

sassy touching noes with Ida the guide dog

#GuideDogDiaries Day 1

Yesterday was the day I began my journey with my first guide dog Ida!
I put the picture of my gorgeous pup on Instagram at the weekend and got a beautiful response from lots and lots of people, so thank you to everyone who liked or commented!

I wrote a post recently about guide dogs, you can check it out here! 🙂

I Arrived at the hotel at 11:20 with thanks to a volunteer guide dogs’ driver called Jake.
I waited in the reception, where I met Adam, the other person on class. Before long our rooms were ready, we started unpacking, getting a custom to the very spacious room and had orientation around the hotel. This is not only to make you as a visually impaired person feel comfortable getting around the hotel, but necessary for knowing where you are, so you can give these instructions/commands to your dog.

A relaxed lunch and a run through of the week ensued before the real fun began…

My trainer, Mikyla, went to collect the 2 dogs, giving us enough time to get nervously excited for their arrival!

When Ida arrived, I ignored her. When she settled and Mikyla let her off the lead, she was allowed to run around. I stayed quiet and watched her investigate.
This is good practice for allowing your Guide Dog to become accustomed to the new environment: not to be overexcited or overstimulated by you, and most importantly it gives them a chance to explore the new sites and sounds around them which they have not encountered before.
It was cute watching her flit between exploring the hotel room, to her bone, and saying hello to me.
As there are two of us in class, the trainer takes it in turns to spend time with you working with a guide dog, everything from obedience training to going to the toilet.

I was then left alone with Ida and the trainer spent time with Adam and his new guide dog.
This was a chance for Ida and I to bond.
Ida wasn’t much interested in me, she was more sad that her friends were across the hall and she wasn’t getting to spend time with them!

A guy dog always has a good bond with their trainer, and this can make them anxious when The trainer leaves them in a strange place, with a strange person: that would be me.

So whining Occurred.
We were warned by Mikyla that separation anxiety could happen, you just have to be patient with the dog and tell them well done when they come to you or stop whining.

We had some cuddles and play, but things vastly improved when I put her gentle lead on, and later feeding her…
Ida loves wearing her gentle lead so much, she shoves her nose in it without prompting… She does this cute little wriggle to shimmy it up her face which then in turn makes her face go to the ground so you have to coax her back up to finish putting on the rest of the lead. This part clips towards the back of the head and the lead rests gently behind her ears… The lead is designed specifically to lay on top of the pressure points at her ears, when they are stimulated it releases in dauphins, making the dog happy and excited to be wearing it.

We started off with some general obedience walking up and down the corridor. A Guide Dog on a gentle lead is very different to a dog in harness.
A Guide Dog on harness knows that she is working and is guiding you. When the dog is wearing a gentle lead this is you walking alongside the dog and keep them from being distracted.

I learned a number of ways to keep her attention and obedience.
I gave her her dinner, under the supervision of Mikyla. Ida decided that she was too hungry to wait for me to give her the signal to eat. Luckily my trainer intervened, and gave me some tips on what to do if it happens again.
What a little guzzle chops she is! 😉

I took her to the toilet, then it was time for us to go eat dinner… She was very much well-behaved, impressively so considering her four-legged friend was sitting opposite her!

Overall, I would say it has been a good first day, The more time she and I spend working together, the more she understands my quirks, and I hers, And the progress we are beginning to make.
I can’t wait to see what The next two weeks will bring! 🙂




Things I learnt:
•Come put on: another way of saying forward when off harness.
•Off: to stop the dog jumping, licking, essentially discouraging that behavior.
•Wait: Makes her stop and wait until she gets the command to continue (come).
•Steady: saying this very slowly gets the dog to slowdown.
•Down: gets the dog to lie down.
•write up: gets the dog to move closer to the object.
•Leave it: encouraging the dog to not let her scratch or be distracted by something.
•Spending: means to go to the toilet.
•Saying busy encourages her to go to the toilet
•Benching: using the dogs lead to tie to the chair leg or similar object, making sure she cant move from under the table.




I hope you enjoyed reading my first day with my gorgeous girl! I also hope you learn something new 🙂
See you for the next update! 🙂

Much love, sassy x




Happy Diaries #13

Hello Diary,

I’ve had a very fluctuating week and the weather being bipolar wasn’t great either!

My cane tip arrived at the end of last week which meant i could actually leave my home, see friends and volunteer 🙂

I wrote a guest post for the lovely Lolly earlier in the week and it was called Are Mobile Phones Materialistic Or A Necessity 🙂

Spending time with friends was particularly good as I felt that it was truly needed.

My Sister has come to stay for a few days so it will be good to spend some quality time together and go shopping!

Gary, Francis and I went out to a Thai restaurant with a few friends and it was rather enjoyable; Francis particularly enjoyed her dessert – pistachio ice-cream with frozen strawberries and strawberry sauce!

Gratitude List

Having Gary around when i’ve been at my most vulnerable.
Getting a massage from my friend, it always releases my Arthritic tension 🙂
Seeing and spending quality time with my sister
Eating yummy food and enjoying brilliant company
it’’s only 6 sleeps until BritMums or five if you are going to the welcome drinks like me!
I am extremely excited for the week ahead!

Until next time!




Happy diaries #10

Hello Diary!

I am absolutely buzzing! I have so many great things to tell you!

I went to a meeting this week and was part of helping to make digital more inclusive for the blind and visually impaired! Especially for those who like me use screen readers!
I can’t tell you too much more at the moment but it’s being improved, and developing further.
But it certainly looks like there are positive things up on the horizon! 🙂

I only went and made the finals of the prestigious BritMums blogging awards!! Oh my I am so freaking excited!! I swear I didn’t think I was going to be made a finalist! There are too many amazing bloggers in my category and they really did deserve to be there! I woke up to lots of twitter and Whatsapp messages congratulating me!
I did scream just a little bit! 😉

I wrote my I’m Going To #BML16 post and have RSVP’d for the welcome drinks on Friday 24th, so if you’re going give me a shout!
I found out that I am on the 1st page of Google! If you type in Thinking Out Loud, you’ll see my little blog along side Ed Sheerans’ famous song; how incredible is that?!
It’s quite an honour really, especially as it is so hard to get onto Google as it is; nevermind the front page! He is one of my favourite artists!

Currently I’m at Gary’s family for the Bank Holiday weekend, it’s been absolutely lovely! I had my first ever Indian head massage; it was absolutely glorious!
We also went out for dinner and drinks with everyone which was also lovely.
We went to a food and drink festival type thing, where we tried a tornado potato; essentially its a thinly sliced potato wrapped round a stick and deep fried, it reminded me of crisps.Gary and I shared a white chocolate doughnut, pretty tasty, but I couldn’t eat a whole one.
And probably the best bit was going to the cheese stand and getting to taste random flavours; curry cheese being one of them. Still not sure what I think of it, it was certainly strange. We did buy Chilli Dutch Edam, very yummy! I was good and didn’t have any alcohol!

We also had a BBQ in the sun, it wasn’t as warm as the rest of the weekend but it was great. To spend it with the whole family 🙂

Gratitude List

I have to thank my fantastic readers, without them voting for me in the BiBs, I wouldn’t be so ecstatic and grinning like a loon all week 🙂
Family – again I am so grateful for your support, giving me support, feedback and encouragement with this blog, thank you again Francis for rallying for me, I love you so much!
* Gary – Where would I be without you my love? You encouraged me to set up this blog, give me something to focus on and drag me out of my depression, but more than that you have been my rock throughout this journey; my technical support, my devils advocate, and mocking me when I act like a loon for getting where I am with my little blog!
Friends – from home, Uni and online you have also supported me, not just on my blogging experience but in life in general. Big love to Life Of A Blind Girl, you are such a gem, and I look forward to finally meeting you face-to-face over the Summer!!

The amazingTribe! Ladies, I am so grateful to have found you; you’ve made my blogging journey all the more special, and even helped me find perspective when I couldn’t find it myself! The sad part is I can’t even thank you properly because you aren’t all coming to #BML which I am beyond gutted about! Lots of hugs, cake and alcohol shall be consumed!

Sunshine – you are my literal and metaphorical ray of light, when you come out to play life just seems brighter somehow!
* Music- you’ve helped me through when i’ve had my down moments this week But more often. When I’m in the best mood, music picks me up further and makes me feel like i’m on cloud 9

So that’s it my Diary!
I can say it’s probably been one of the best weeks of my life!

Let’s hope the positive mood keeps me going throughout next week! 🙁

Until next time!

Happy Diaries #9

Hello Diary,

This week has been tough, with my emotions,and feeling crappy, but this series is about finding the positive within the sadness. chaos/ depression.

So what has happened this week that I have enjoyed?

We had our Tribal Awards this week, and I was awarded the inspire award! I was extremely chuffed to say the least! The amusing bit, was probably where it was announced, and I had no clue, because my phone crashed! It suddenly went crazy, buzzing away violently! It took me a good few minutes just for my phone to stop playing dead, so I could actually read what was going on!
Encase none of this makes any sense; our Tribe hosts a Twitter live chat every Tuesday evening between 8-9PM, and this was when our awards were announced!
A massive thank you to Queen Katie for all the time and effort she put into making the badges, and creating the awards!
She has a golden soul this one!

Sunset/sunrise with inspire winner text

It was also Gary’s birthday this week, so we had a nice romantic meal, and some quality time together! 🙂

We have booked our holiday abroad! It just so happens to be where my best friend is getting married!!! 😉 I cannot wait!

Gary and I have also started going back to the gym, we both got a bit complacent, and as the gym is a great way of us letting off steam/ getting fit, it’s also nice to have a new something to focus on! My goal will be to get fitter and tone up, so I don’t look like a wobbly jelly at my best friends wedding in the Summer! 🙂

Gratitude List:

Doing kind things for friends, and seeing their joy, excitement and happiness is just priceless!
* Quality time with Gary, we only really spend about an hour together in the evenings, because we’d rather go online and talk to our friends instead! 😂
* The gym: Going there will not only keep me focused, but it will really keep my mood boosted!
* Blogging: encase that wasn’t obvious? 😉 i’m so grateful to all the help, support and encouragement i’ve been getting on my blogging journey. On top of that; I have made some wonderful friends, and I will get to meet them in the Summer!
* My Sister: she went out of her way to campaign and support me this week for the BiBs shortlisting! It doesn’t matter whether or not I become a finalist. I’m ecstatic that I am where I am already. But my gorgeous Sister made it all the more special by being such a fantastic support network! 😽❤️
• #TribalLove now seriously, where would I be without these fantastic women? They are all fantastic in their own way, and I am truly enjoying getting to know them all! The support we give each other is invaluable, and the love that shines through is just fantastic! Congratulations to those who won A Tribal award! And massive hugs to those of you that voted for me! 🍾😙
I’m sure I could waffle on for a lot longer, because I have so much to be grateful for, as well as things to be positive about.
But I don’t want to bore you or myself any longer!

Until next time,

Much love,
Sassy x